THE Tamworth and District Table Tennis Association season started last week with some nail-biting matches.
In Division One, Wilnecote Raiders kicked off their campaign with a 7-3 victory over new team Tamworth Youth Club Wanderers. Andy Bache was undefeated for Raiders, while Ryan Birbeck won two out of three, beaten only by Matt Satchwell who scored a brace for Wanderers. Andy Walker also scored once against John Birbeck, but it was not enough to avoid defeat from the strong Wilnecote side. Last season’s champions Netherseales beat Divison Two winners Netherseal Cedar 9-1 in a tough local derby. Jason Hadley and Andy Rose won all of their games, while Danny Sullivan won two. Sutton Coldfield Panthers comprehensively beat Lichfield Jets 10-0. The experienced Panthers side of Alan Caffery, Andy Choi and Martin Round were too strong for Cameron Sykes, Mark Balant and Harry Emberson.
In Division Two, Kingsbury Tornadoes narrowly beat Netherseal Oak 6-4. Dave Morrell and Karl Oliver both scored twice for Tornadoes, while Nigel Thompson earned a single. Brian Hagger and Mike Harker fought back well for Oak, each winning two matches, but it was the doubles combination of Dave Morrell and Alan McLoughlin which clinched the victory in five games. Rugby Kings convincingly beat Lichfield Musketeers 9-1. Jonathan Pilling and Dean Snowdon were each unbeaten for Kings, while Ian Gould picked up two wins, losing out to an impressive performance from Morgan Sykes who retained the point for Musketeers. Newly named TYC Inbetweeners also lost 9-1 at home to Spital Daredevils. Claire Baker and Alan Baker could not be beaten, while Stuart Spalding scored a brace, beaten by promising youngster Sam Bernstein.
In Division Three, Netherseal Ash beat Kingsbury Crowns 8-2. Graham Clarke and Mick Sherratt each came away with maximum points, while John Pope scored once, beaten by Tom Haines and John Lowe from Crowns. Tamworth Youth Club China Whites comprehensively beat Burntwood 10-0. The young Burntwood side showed promise, but it was not enough to take a point off China Whites, who saw Alex Farrell, Belinda Forster and Sue Bates all unbeaten. Curdworth Wheelers Pongers beat TYC Lambs 8-2. Peter and Rob Bromley both won a hat-trick of matches, while Nick Bromley scored once, beaten by Rob and James Shaw. Finally Kingsbury Cruisers beat Lichfield Barons 8-2. Ron Simpson and John Howell could not be beaten for Cruisers, while Issy Morrell scored twice, losing out only to Barbara Jones. Karl Turner and Barbara Jones teamed up to regain a point in the doubles against Cruisers’ Steve Gardner and John Howell.